The web is littered with sites that show pop-up notifications asking if you’d like to sign up for alerts — and Mozilla says according to its research, 99-percent of them are either ignored or actively denied by Firefox users.
So Mozilla has announced that the latest version of Firefox will make these pop-ups less annoying. Meanwhile Google says a similar update is coming to the next version of its Chrome web browser.
Here’s how things will work in each browser moving forward.
When you visit a website with notifications you won’t see a pop up that you have to click on anymore. Instead, a little speech bubble will show up in the URL bar and jiggle a bit to let you now that an alert was sent.
You can choose to ignore that speech bubble altogether. Or you can click on it to see the notification and choose whether to sign up for ongoing notifications (which won’t be blocked for that site), or deny permission.
Note that this will block the notifications that pop up when you first visit a site. But some web pages attempt to send a notification after you’ve interacted with the site. To block those, you can go to Firefox Preferences > Privacy & Security > Permissions and choose the Notifications option and check the box that says “Block new requests asking to allow notifications.”
You can also allow notifications from previously blocked sites from this page.
Other changes in Firefox 72 include support for picture-in-picture mode when watching videos on Mac or Linux computers, and improved tracking protection.
Google won’t go quite as far as Mozilla in blocking all notifications by default when you first visit websites. But the company does allow you to manually opt-out by going to the Settings > Site Settings > Notifications menu and check the box that says “Use quieter messaging.”
What’s more, the company will automatically block pop-ups in two situations:
- For users that rarely accept notifications
- For all users when visiting sites with low permission acceptance rates
When Chrome blocks a notification, desktop users will see a crossed-out bell icon in the URL bar that they can click to see more information. Mobile users will see a brief toast window that appears at the bottom of the screen to let you know a notification was blocked, but it’ll fade away automatically.